Another delicious, informative, and fun day at Melissa’s Produce last week with the dynamic Katie Chin introducing her Everyday Chinese Cookbook and demonstrating how to make Firecracker Shrimp and Potstickers.
Katie Chin’s Everyday Chinese Cookbook: 101 Delicious Recipes from My Mother’s Kitchen pays homage to Katie’s pioneering mother, Leeann Chin, who instilled Katie with a love of family and passion for Chinese cooking. Leeann Chin was born in Guangzhou and immigrated to the U.S. in 1956. At the height of her career she was running more than thirty restaurants in Minneapolis, Minnesota and single-handedly introducing thousands of people to Chinese-American cuisine. Katie and her mother co-authored a Chinese cookbook together and started a Pan-Asian catering business in Los Angeles. In between catering gigs, they also traveled to China together to co-host the Food Network special called My Country, My Kitchen.
Leeann Chin was revered for her ability to demystify Chinese cooking and simplify it for the everyday home cook and Katie is honored to carry on her legacy. Poignant stories about her mother and growing up Chinese-American in Minneapolis are woven throughout this collection of Chin family recipes. Some of the recipes are time-honored classics which Leeann Chin learned how to make in China, while others reflect Katie’s Chinese-American childhood. Katie shares the inspiration behind some of the recipes along with recollections and anecdotes of fun childhood memories in and out of the kitchen.
“Growing up, Chinese New Year was my favorite time of year. My mother and father would lay out brand new outfits and shoes for us to wear so we could start the New Year off fresh, and we couldn’t wash our hair on Chinese New Year’s day or else we’d wash our all of our good luck. My mother explained all of the symbolism of the foods we ate on this day t0 bring fortune, honor, health and good luck into our homes. She told us about the firecrackers on New Year’s Day in China when she was a little girl, and how they lit up the sky to ward off evil spirits. Together, my mom and I came up with this fun and festive recipe that’s great for Chinese New Year or any time of the year when you want a little good luck. The carrot resembles the fuse of a firecracker!”
Take a look at Katie’s Chinese New Year video that shows you how easy it is to make perfectly crispy Firecracker Shrimp.
- 12 shelled (tail left intact) and deveined large raw shrimp*
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt
- 4 spring roll wrappers
- 1 large carrot cut into 3"x1/4" (7.5 x 6 mm) matchsticks
- 1 egg beaten
- Oil for deep-frying
- Dipping Sauce:
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons Sriracha or other chili sauce
- Cut each spring roll wrapper into thirds to make 12 long narrow strips.
- Place the carrot matchsticks in a small bowl. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon garlic salt and set aside. Sprinkle the shrimp with the remaining garlic salt.
- Brush the top third of each spring roll strip with egg. Place a piece of shrimp at the bottom of the strip. Place a carrot slice on top of the shrimp. Roll each shrimp and carrot up tightly in the spring roll strip, with the egg holding it together. The shrimp and carrot should be protruding from one end to resemble a firecracker. Repeat the process until all the wrappers are filled with shrimp and carrots.
- Make the dipping sauce. In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise and Sriracha sauce together. Set aside.
- In a large wok or deep skillet, heat 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) of the oil to 350 degrees (175 C). Fry the shrimp rolls until golden brown, about 2 minutes, turning 2-3 times. Drain on a sheet pan lined with paper towels. Serve with the dipping sauce.
With classics like Sweet and Sour Pork and Kung Pao Chicken to the Chins’ signature Firecracker Shrimp and modern interpretation like Quinoa Fried Rice and Five-Spice Chocolate Cake, Katie Chin’s Everyday Chinese Cookbook: 101 Delicious Recipes from My Mother’s Kitchen (Tuttle Publishing) is the cookbook to add to your kitchen arsenal. You too, can unleash the Chinese wok master within!
For your sweet tooth, here’s another super easy recipe using dumpling wrappers: Chocolate-Raspberry Wontons. (Stuffed with Nutella – you need this in your life!!)
Disclosure: Melissa’s Produce hosts food writers and bloggers at cookbook signings to meet the author and enjoy a lunch featuring recipes from the book made by their terrific corporate chefs. I was not compensated for this review and all opinions are my own.